This year has been all about foldables, with pretty much every tech company under the sun rushing to release a new folding blower.
But if Trusted Reviews reader reactions are anything to go by, for the last few months there has been a clear front runner when it comes to consumer interest: the Motorola Razr 2019.
Seriously, every time we write anything about the fabled Razr phone our analytics show you all rush to read it at a near frenzied pace, and for good reason – from what we’ve seen it could be a seriously good phone that mirrors the clamshell design of the original Razr.
But this week my interest turned to a very different folding phone that no-one saw coming, the Microsoft Surface Duo. There are two very clear reasons why.
Firstly, because it was an actual surprise. These days it feels like no one in tech can keep a secret – before any new product is released most of its key specs, features and design have all been leaked.
Related: Folding phones
This was the case with the iPhone 11, Galaxy S10 and pretty much every other flagship to arrive this year, which is why key companies like Google, with the Pixel 4, and Motorola, with the Razr phone, have chosen to throw in the towel and confirm the products’ existence before their actual launch.
On the one hand this is great, as it makes our lives as tech journos easier. But it leaves little room for excitement when the products finally arrive. This is why when Microsoft managed to actually keep the Duo secret, it’s launch alongside the Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, Surface Neo and Surface Pro X was genuinely exciting. No one saw Microsoft getting back into the phone game and even now I want to know more about the mysterious foldable phone and what it means for Microsoft long-term.
Related: Best phone 2019
Secondly, it has a much more sensible design than most folding phones. Devices with actual folding screens look great, but from what we’ve seen so far, they aren’t that reliable or rugged. The Galaxy Fold’s ongoing woes is a great example of this.
The first generation of the device literally fell apart in reviewers’ hands, and Samsung is so concerned about the second gen Galaxy Fold it felt the need to issue guidance on its blog telling users how not to break it.
The Surface Duo’s two screen design, which uses a 360 hinge to connect two separate displays, may not look as pretty but I’m guessing it’ll be a lot more durable. The form factor will also still offer a number of benefits, like improved multitasking and a better typing experience. There’s even the potential for Nintendo 3DS style twin screen gaming.
This is why I’m way more excited about the Surface Duo than any other foldable at the moment.